Q.22. What is pregnancy?

Ans. Pregnancy or gestation is the bearing of a new life by a female till it is capable of independent existence outside the body of mother. It is the period from the time of fertilization till parturition. The average duration of pregnancy is 266 days or 38 weeks or a week less than nine months from the time of conception. If the time is considered from the onset of last menstruation we add about 2 weeks to this duration. Pregnancy can occur any time from menarche to menopause in a woman. The fertilized ovum or zygote enters the uterus after about three days of fertilization in the form of 12 celled morula and drives its nutrition from the endometrial secretions. It implants in the uterine endometrium in the form of blastocyst after remaining for four days in the uterus. The nine months of pregnancy may be divided into three trimesters of three months each and colled early, middle and late pregnancy. The umbilical cord attaches the foctus with the placenta and develops at about one month of intrauterine life. The placenta starts forming at one month of pregnancy and reaches a definite form at two and a half months. Placenta carries the vital functions of life in an undeveloped foctus. Placenta separates the maternal and foctal blood by placental membranes. The foctus floats in ammiotie fluid or liquor amnii which becomes about 750 mI. to 1000 ml just before delivery. At the same time the breasts increase to more than double the initial size and nipples become prominent which facilitates breast feeding. Nipples and areolae become deep colored during pregnancy. stages of intercourse should be done with precaution and restricted particularly during the first and last trimester of pregnancy. The pregnant woman should take adequate rest and a diet rich in protein, iron, calcium, phosphorous and vitamins along with keeping a happy mood and doing light physical work.


Q.23. What is labour?

Ans. Labour is a process of delivering or parturition or child birth so named because the woman has to exert physically and mentally during this process. The foetus becomes mature to lead a life outside the body of mother after the gestation period of 266 days on an average from the time of conception. Parturition is difficult and risky in woman below 16 years, less than 150 cms of height and 40 k.g. weight, more than 70 k.g. weight and first delivery. Labour takes on an average about 18 hours in the first pregnancy and 10 hours in the , subsequent ones. The process of labour is divided into three stages as the stage of cervical dilation, stage of delivery of foctus and the stage of placental expulsion. The first stage from intermittent pain sensation to full cervical dilatation takes about sixteen hours in the first pregnancy and eight to nine hours in subsequent pregnancies. The second stage beginning from the time of full cervical dilation to expulsion of foctus takes one to two hours in first pregnancy and half to one hour in subsequent ones. The last stage begins from the onset of delivery of foctus to release of placenta, umbilical cord and foctal membranes and takes 20-30 minute in first pregnancy and 5-15 minutes in subsequent ones.